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It’s Fine For Women In Politics To Use Their Looks To Get Ahead

Posted on November 22 2010 8:00 pm
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These days, every time a woman in politics gets recognized for her looks or dares to be even a little sexually provocative, the “how dare she” crew comes out of the woodwork. Ironically, given that the standard feminist line these days is that women should screw like promiscuous men and then whinge about “slut shaming” if anyone complains, most kvetching about women being admired for their looks comes from the Left. Don’t get me wrong, it happens on the Right, too, but it’s just much more prevalent on the Left.

Well, the latest hotty to stir up the ire of the “how dare she” crew is Megyn Kelly for her spread in GQ. Here’s the sextacular Megyn Kelly pic that’s drawing attention and some of Mediaite’s commentary:

Megyn Kelly Feeds The Beast Of Objectification, Strips Down For GQ

But there’s still something strangely uncomfortable about the idea that an anchor who seems to want to be taken seriously will strip down for an easy attention-grab, and that really isn’t Kelly’s fault. She can do as she pleases when her ratings are what they are, but it’s the angle that GQ takes on her work that makes it problematic. GQ reporter Greg Veis deliberately makes the crux of his piece that she is “hot,” and that people watch her because she is “hot” and not because she is a good reporter. Half the interview is about how proud colleague Brit Hume apparently was of a false rumor that the two were having an affaira not-very-interesting topic the interviewer seems to employ to create the perception based on absolutely no evidence that Kelly is seen as little more than an ornament in her work environment. The other questions imply that her following consists exclusively of ravenous males and, well, there is one serious question on the influence Glenn Beck has on America. The questions asked and the way her answers are edited are not Kelly’s fault. It is certainly possible to interview her with the respect she deserves, and it’s been done many times before. Veis opted not to.

And no, the pictures don’t exonerate him for trivializing her journalistic prowess. Had a male media figure stripped down similarly, they would have been treated just as if the shoot had been done wearing coats. We know this because it has happened before: no one thought less of Andrew Breitbart for doing a nude photo shoot with Time. Keith Olbermann wasn’t objectified into irrelevance for actively campaigning to become the 2004 Playgirl Sexiest Newscaster (and winning). Because they are male, their exploration of a public semi-sexual persona was treated as comedy, a recurring theme with male sexuality, notable exceptions (Jon Hamm) aside. Not that this is quite fair to the males involved, either there is a balance between treating sexuality and respect as mutually exclusive and treating it as a punchline, and neither extreme is healthy, though the latter clearly preferable in a business where institutional sexism has only recently begun to erode. Blaming the victim the kneejerk reaction when seeing pictures like this of Kelly, or those of Breitbart, or Olbermann’s admittedly intentionally humorous campaign for bringing their physical appeal into the conversation is not going to solve the problem.

First off, let’s note that we’re talking about GQ here. It actually has a women’s section that’s full of lingerie and bikini shots. It has excerpts like,

Video: We Saw Cristiano Ronaldo’s Girlfriend Naked. A ridiculously sexy behind-the-scenes video and slideshow of Russian model Irina Shayk

Adriana Lima: Could the world’s sexiest underwear model really be so pure?

So, should anyone really be stunned that they’re asking Megyn Kelly questions about being hot?

Continue reading at Right Wing News.

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